UNODC Chief Meets Austrian Minister of Justice and Discusses Impact of COVID-19 On Organized Crime

© UNODC/Nancy Cao

Vienna (Austria), 15 October 2020 — UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly met with Austrian Minister of Justice Alma Zadic during a side event held as part of the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10), where they addressed the impact of COVID-19 on organized crime.

The pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented crisis upon the world, seeping into all layers of society. From the international political and security landscape to macro socio-economic dynamics and national law enforcement capacity — all were affected by the global pandemic. However, organized crime has benefited from the crisis.

New opportunities for organized criminal activity have flourished during the pandemic —primarily money laundering and trafficking activities— as organized crime groups attempt to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis and recovery efforts.

During the side event, organized crime experts discussed the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic; while the threat of an economic recession precipitated by the lockdown measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus, looms in the background.